House of Trixie Blue

Enterprise of Burlesque Entertainment

How do you create an act? Answered in 5 easy steps by Scarlet Rose

Good day everyone,

We hope you are having a crazy awesome start to your Wednesday. We are super excited to bring you today’s blog by the captivating Scarlet Rose. Boil the kettle, grab a biccy and have a read of Scarlet’s 5 steps of how to create an act…

How do you create an act?

By Scarlet Rose

            As with most burlesque based questions, I never quite know where to start with this one because when I get an act idea, I’m usually concentrating on the concept itself and not how I got there. But as ever, I’m going to use the tact of questioning to work through the steps of act creation. It might be completely different to how you go through it, but hopefully you’ll find it interesting and perhaps even useful!

Step 1: Inspiration

            For me, this usually comes from music. I usually also hate saying that as it sounds REALLY pretentious. But so far, it’s while I’m listening to a song that the whole routine ‘look’ will come into my head. E.g. the costume pieces and colour scheme, how I could move, pose and peel to particular parts of the song. Whether I envisage any props of course! So far all the routines I’ve got have come about as a result of music I’ve listened to and everything else stems from that. Not the only way to do it but apparently the way I work!

Step 2: Choreography

            So I’ve got the overall concept, I sort of know what moves I want to put where… Now it’s time to put it altogether with some sort of sense with cohesion! This involves listening to the song and noting down what I will be doing second by second. It can be ever so slightly tedious, but the best thing to do before you rehearse it for the first time. Which is usually straight after the choreography is finished to try and get it stuck in my head. And writing down the exact minute and second of a move has proven invaluable when I inevitably forget what I’m meant to be doing halfway through that first rehearsal.

Step 3: Costuming

            The concept is established, the routine is working and it is at this point I find it extremely important to get onto costuming, lest the whole thing be lost to a routines black hole. As of writing, I’ve done all my own costuming, though this could be about to change soon! (Ooh, the tease). I do think it is important to start work on my costumes as soon as the routine is fixed, otherwise I’ll faff and procrastinate and getting the overall thing finished will take twice as long. I always start by sketching out my ideas (and I use the term loosely as my drawing abilities are shameful) to keep the design consistent and also so I can work out what I need to buy! Then comes the tedious part- assembling it all together. Try blocking out a chunk of time to do it all in and set a completion deadline you need to hit. Otherwise frustration and glue fumes will have you giving up after you’ve finished your first cup of tea!

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Step 4: Dress Rehearsal

            This step is very, VERY important and must not be skipped at all costs. I remember after I’d spent 20 hours over two days making my panel skirt and all I wanted was sleep. But as the show was the next day (fabric delivery issues has slowed me down), I forced myself to lace up and go through it. The reason for this is probably obvious: no matter how snappily you can remove a corset when you’re miming it, it could be a whole different kettle of fishnets when you’ve actually got it on. Every time I’ve run through a new routine in costume for the first time I’ve found I’ll have to change some aspect of timing or a way I was intending to move. It’s always better to come to these realisations offstage rather than on!

Step 5: Debut Performance!

            Now that you’ve gone through all the hard graft of creating the routine, it’s time for the reason you went through it all in the first place- to perform it in front of a real life audience! At which point you’ll probably decide that you don’t want anyone to see it, should they critique your baby. I always maintain that performing a routine publicly for the first time is one of the most nerve wracking performance experiences but as ever, this just means you care. And once it’s done, you’ll be so high that you’ll be desperate for the next chance to perform it! Now it’s time to get it filmed so that you can show the world your new creation. And restrain yourself from planning a whole new one and going through the whole process all over again.

Thank you all for reading and have an extra amazing day!

Love & Tassels
Scarlet Rose xxx

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